Hello dear readers!
I have a special treat for you today! I'd love to introduce Stephanie whom I first met on FB. I was immediately captured by the textile artists she promoted on her page and I felt we are on the same wavelength right then and there. Since then I have been religiously following her posts and they come like a magical ointment on a sore day. I am sure she'll do her magic on you too :)
1. Introduce to my readers please? Who is Stephanie?
I am a painter, portraiture in particular, so I've always worked with colour, composition, and pattern. I've found more recently the joy of 'painting' with fabric, yarn and other media, playing with mixes of colours and patterns in 3-dimensional soft sculptures as well as one-of-a-kind wearable pieces. That sounds serious, but really it's more like play! I have had my label, wimcee, for almost 10 years, and exhibit at galleries and retailers as well as selling on-line and occasionally at markets.
2. What do you specialize in making?
I learned to use a sewing machine making aprons, and that's remained my mainstay. The apron is a simple garment which lets me concentrate on embellishment: I enjoy the humorous reference to gender and the retro connotation, but there's also a lot of cultural and tribal symbolism about the apron. I also make handbags and totes, soft furnishings, jewelry, art dolls and clothing.
My first apron was for a friend who collects aprons and wears them as part of her street wear. I used a pattern from the internet for a very full waisted apron, but as I became a more confident sewer I started modifying patterns and making up my own designs. There's nothing too complicated about the one-size-fits-most apron and I often use gingham as the main fabric so that all the geometrics are built in for lining up pockets and so on. If I'm using a big mix of fabrics I tend to put everything I think might work down on the floor and add or subtract from there - it can be really surprising how different fabrics work together. I'll also add braids and ribbons to the mix although I may not use them all when it comes to putting it all together. When an apron is made I will then often make up some brooches for it using some of the same fabrics, or I'll work up an embroidered felt motif based on a feature design.
4. I am deeply in love with your stunning and unique bags and totes - what fabric and other materials do you usually find suitable to use in your creations?
I love making bags for the same reason that I enjoy aprons - they are a great vehicle for experimentation with colours and patterns and embellishments. I also value so much that they are useful. I use a mix of new and re-purposed fabrics, including vintage kimono silks and crepes, recycled furnishing fabrics and charity shop woollens that I've felted - I've even used favourite garments, incorporating features like button closures into the new design. Where it lends itself to a style I often use crochet, or work a panel of embroidery, to increase the 'specialness' of a piece, and I also have fun with the odd bag charm or brooch too!
5. Where does inspiration come from?
My Facebook page is much more about all the wonderful work being done by others around the world, although I do share my own work as well, and I find the curating activity of choosing what to share from other pages with my own followers extraordinarily inspirational - I usually can't wait to start creating myself. I am also connected with crafters and artists locally, and they're a very supportive sharing community. Creativity thrives on bouncing ideas around and then putting your own stamp and interpretation on your own particular vehicles and vessels.
6. What do you do in your free time?
I really do like to cook, and to catch up with friends and family. I'm not very good at not keeping busy, but our local beaches are a great place to relax.
7. Any other crafts you'd like to try your hand at?
I am in the midst of a second ceramic course with local ceramicist extraordinaire, Clairy Laurence and enjoying that very much, but I would also like to get serious about journaling and mixed media at some stage as well.
8. Is there anything I didn't ask and you'd like to share with us?
I don't think so Maya. It's been a pleasure to chat, and thank-you!
Thank You, Stephanie for sharing this with us!
Visit Stephanie's etsy shop wimcee as well as her Facebook page for more eye candy!